The B.C. government has announced plans to develop a new $450-million retail and entertainment complex just west of BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.

The proposed 680,000 square-foot project, which will occupy the BC Place-owned lands between the stadium and the Cambie Street Bridge in northeast False Creek, will include a casino and two internationally branded hotels.

Premier Gordon Campbell and BC Pavilion Corporation chair David Podmore made the announcement Friday morning.

Campbell said the project will create 8,500 jobs during construction.

"This project will…be an important generator of tourism and economic activity for Vancouver and the entire province," said Premier Campbell.

"During the Olympic Winter Games the streets of Vancouver were alive with the Olympic spirit -- and we hope this entertainment complex will help recapture some of that excitement."

Pavco, the Crown corporation that manages BC Place, has signed a 70-year lease with Paragon Development Limited for the two acres of land directly west of the stadium. The space is currently being used as a parking lot.

The province says the facility will generate up to $130 million in gaming revenues in its first year – all of which will be distributed to the province.

The zoning application still needs to be approved by the City of Vancouver. If passed, the Edgewater Casino at the Plaza of Nations will be shut down and relocated.

Construction would begin in 2011 and be completed by mid-2013. The province says the build will not affect scheduled events.

The casino is expected to connect to the stadium, which will undergo a $563-million facelift – including a new retractable roof -- beginning next month. The province says the new roof will extend the life of the stadium by an additional 40 years.

When completed, BC Place will be the new home for the Vancouver MLS franchise, as well as the BC Lions.

It will also host the 2011 Grey Cup.